Controlling Parental Anger
How to Keep Your Cool
Mike works all day ... long, hard hours. He has a successful business and works hard to keep a good relationship with his clients and employees. But 10 minutes with Annie, his four-year-old, and he becomes a rage-a-holic.
Every night when he comes home, he just wants to relax and read the newspaper, but Annie wants to play. He tells her nicely to watch TV, and she refuses.
Suddenly lightening hits, and he's screaming at her and stomping around the house. He's in a rage … slamming doors, you name it … He can’t control himself."
Anyone can be angry … even the most able and mild-mannered parent. Parents like Mike worry about the frequency and intensity of anger they feel toward their children. A lot of this anger comes from utter frustration -- not knowing how to manage children's behavior. Anger also occurs when a child falls short of a parent's expectations, when kids embarrass their parents in public, and when they show disrespect.
Unresolved frustration leads to distress, and frequent angry outbursts ensue.
Anger Doesn't Work
Parents’ uncontrollable outbursts rarely improve children's behavior. Don't you secretly wish they would? Wouldn't parenting be easier if you could yell at your child, "Get dressed right now, young lady. Stop playing around and wasting time. You're going to make me late for work and I’ll lose my job," and your daughter would jump into her clothes and then climb into the car, waiting patiently while you put on your makeup and make one quick phone call?
You might think a child would comply with angry demands to avoid the unpleasantness of these scenes, but that usually isn't the case. Some children become immune to your anger; they ignore it, while for others, anger has a contagious effect; children fight back with an angry defensive response of their own.
Parents need to find effective, realistic ways to deal with anger. Children are gifts … treasures … jewels. As angry as you may be, remember how much you love them. Never let yourself forget that – first and foremost.
If you were treated with anger when you were a child, remember it and feel it. Remember how bad it felt? So why would you want to inflict the same hurt on your children?
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